Leaning: Songs of Strength and Justice

Becca May Grant, Madison-based pianist, composer, and educator, will present Leaning: Songs of Strength and Justice, a concert of original gospel jazz songs, on March 7 at 7PM at Fountain of Life Covenant Church.  Her compositions grow textually and musically from her 25 years’ experience of being welcomed as family into an African-American Pentecostal church community, as a white Lutheran.

“The title Leaning comes from a gospel song,” says May Grant. “In these uncertain and divided times, we as a community find strength and hope for justice in faith.”

The Rivers, a dynamic 12-voice ensemble, delivers rich, soulful harmonies and soaring solo improvisations. Vocalists represent the music ministries of Fountain of Life, Mt. Zion Baptist, and High Point churches. The band features a diverse group of instrumentalists, each a leader of their own projects and busy on the Madison and Milwaukee music scenes: Paul Dietrich, trumpet, Rick Flowers, drums, Richard Hildner, guitar, Laurie Lang, bass, and George Ramsey, organ. P.Berkbigler Design and Illustration will present visual imagery.

Special guests include Fabu, former Madison poet laureate; Betsy Ezell, jazz vocalist; Sisters in Song Community Choir; Deborah Garrett Thomas, mezzo soprano; and Lena Archer, worship leader.

Becca performed some of the material at her 2014 InDIGenous JAZZ Series concert, which became a live album released in 2016. Becca also composed new material that will be performed publicly for the first time at the Leaning performance.

The Rivers vocal gospel ensemble includes Deborah Biddle, Lavena Coley, Anntonette Davis, Malika Evanco, Betsy Ezell, Candace Patterson, Rene’ Robinson, Julia Saffold, Tamera Stanley, and Wanda Tapp.

Saturday, March 7, 2020, 7 PM

Fountain of Life Covenant Church, 633 W. Badger Rd., Madison, WI

$10 suggested donation